travisl found Ring of Fire
Eep... it's a two-logger... I'd had plans to camp at Coho Campground for about six months now, and when I saw this cache go disabled, I fired off an e-mail to Ironman to see if I could get special permission to hunt this one. The geocaching gods were smiling on me, as it turned out that he was working and temporarily living less than half a mile from my campsite. I like it when that happens.
We agreed to meet at 5:30 on the 12th. At 6:08 on the 12th, with my brain already on island time, my brother showed up at the site and asked ''So, how'd your 5:30 meeting go?'' I was out of there like a shot, but at 6:15, with Ironman nowhere to be found, I knew I'd stood him up. I hate it when that happens.
About an hour later, though, a strange guy shows up at the campsite, and my ears perk up when I hear him mention my name to one of my 21 camping buddies. We talked for a good 45 minutes about caches, he explained why it was temporarily disabled, and gave me the option of trying to find it anyway. Ironman, you rock. I like it when that happens.
I hit ''Dipping in the Wynoochee'' on the 13th, and decided to go after this one on the 14th. My dad (who's found a few caches with me before), and the two neo-cachers who went with me to ''Dipping'' (Roy and Phil) came along. It took us three wrong turns before we found the right road, and after navigating past an obstacle that was easily bypassed, we parked less than 300 horizontal feet from the cache. Thanks, CCC, for the parking coordinates. I like it when that happens.
A few minutes later, we find the rope, and begin our decent. My dad decides to stay up top, I guess in case he needed to go get rescue helicopters or something, if we were to decide to let go of the rope and land on our heads in the river 140 feet below. I hate it when that happens.
The decent is mildly challenging, although pretty much uneventful, except for the point where I almost swing too far over the edge, where I'd be swaying gently in the breeze like a big flailing piñata. I hate it when that happens.
Fortunately, I found my footing and continued my decent to the train car. Roy arrived shortly after I did, and Phil perched himself just above us, looking out for who-knows-what. Rabid flying wombats, perhaps. Roy and I searched for about 15 minutes, I stood on the very back of the train car and experienced a sense of vertigo like I haven't had in months (I love it when that happens), and after a bit more searching, Roy found it. His first find! There's a bunch of really neat themed items in the cache, but I TNLN and signed the log for the three of us. I like it when that happens.
We then explored the riverbank for a few minutes, and my thoughts turned back to a true story that my late grandfather told me about this very trestle… back in the 40's, he and his buddies were out drinking and hunting and drinking and drinking some more. The sun was beginning to get low in the sky, and it was time to start thinking about heading home.
This canyon is pretty long, and pretty deep, and there's not a lot of ways across. Their car was on one side, and the trip home was a good couple hours drive or more. If they could just get the car to across, it'd save them a bunch of time.
''We could drive across the trestle,'' joked his buddy. They all laughed, and decided that it was a stupid idea. It'd only work if they drank a bit more. So they did, and the sun got lower, and a train went by, and they drank some more, and suddenly the idea didn't seem so stupid. So two guys got behind the car, two got along side, and slowly, they pushed the car bit by bit across the trestle, stopping every now and then to take another drink, listen for the train, or take another drink. They finally made it across, got it to the road, and heard the train go by again shortly thereafter. It's a wonder my dad was ever born :-)
For my grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary, my parents gave them a beautiful drawing of a lumber train barreling across the trestle. It was very cool.
And so was this cache. Thanks for bringing me to this neat spot, to my first 5-star terrain cache, and to a piece of family history I'd never seen.
I love it when that happens.